A haredi letter-writer from Beit Shemesh chastises the haredi newspaper Hamodia because it called IDF soldiers fighting in Gaza "our forces" – a euphamism likely meant to avoid using the hated term "IDF." But the letter-writer isn't upset for any of the reasons the average non-haredi might think…
The following letter was printed in the Israel edition of Hamodia, the haredi newspaper closely linked to the Gur (Ger) hasidic movement. It is the second-largest haredi newspaper in Israel.
The haredi news website Kikar HaShabbat thought the letter was noteworthy enough to scan and post:
The Real Power
As subscribers to your important newspaper, Hamodia, the newspaper of haredi Jewry, I was very surprised to see time after time during the military operation [in Gaza] the words, "our forces”…
It is important to point out that we never relied on or put our trust in flesh and blood and our true forces are – only Torah learning and the students who learn Torah.
Marty Bluke notes three points that make this letter, which reflects a commonly held haredi view, moronic:
1. The fact is that whether you like it or not, the soldiers are fighting for every Jew who lives in Israel and if given the chance Hamas would slaughter the Haredim just as much as they would slaughter any other Jews.
2. Did Moshe Rabbenu [Moses] not raise an army to fight Amalek, Midyan, etc.? Did Yehoshua [Joshua], Dovid Hamelech [King David] etc. not fight wars? Why didn't they just sit and learn [Torah]? The answer is very simple, we need to do our hishtadlus [work diligently with maximum effort] when it comes to war (just like anything else) and that means having an army and fighting. Why does the writer see a contradiction between our army and faith in Hashem [God]?
3. Why can't the writer show a little hakaros hatov [thankfulness] to those who are putting their lives on the line so that he can sit and learn?